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Article

Lucas Nogueira

Lucas Nogueira

Brazil
Year: N/A
Position: Center
Height: 7-foot-0
Weight: 200 lbs.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 9 or 26 picks, or if they choose to move up during the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27. Part XIV takes a look at 7-foot center Lucas Nogueira from Brazil, a pick with polarizing placement on the NBA mock draft boards.

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

Email / Twitter

Mock Draft Projections: 1st round, picks 11 through 30; 2nd round

2012-13 Season (Estudiantes Madrid - Spanish ACB): 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 0.4 SPG, .664 FG%, .674 FT%
2011-12 Season (Estudiantes Madrid - Spanish ACB): 3.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.0 BPG, 0.5 SPG, .714 FG%, .500 FT%
2010-11 Season (Estudiantes Madrid II - Spanish EBA): 10.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 2.2 BPG, 0.7 SPG, .560 FG%, .610 FT%

Lucas Nogueira earned the nickname “Bebe Gigant” while still in Brazil. The term, which means Baby Giant, has stuck with him through his travels across continents playing basketball—depending on where he’s playing, you can still hear announcers address him as “Bebe” after scoring a basket while he runs to the other end of the court.

He earned the name with good reason. Nogueira is 7-foot with a 7-foot-5 wingspan, and his height—along with his ability to move on the basketball court—has him now in position to potentially hear his name called on Thursday night during the NBA Draft.

Nogueira initially landed on teams’ radars during the 2011 FIBA Americas U-18 Championship in San Antonio, Texas, during which he averaged 15.6 points, a tournament-leading 10.0 rebounds and 5.4 blocked shots in 24.4 minutes per game. He’s spent much of the past couple years trying to refine his game—doing so in the Spanish ACB league as part of Asefa Estudiantes Madrid—and while he has a ways to go in his development you can see there is potential in his game.

Bebe will do the things around the basket you hope to see out of a big. He collects a lot of tips, rebounds and blocks, and he also has the athleticism to run the floor. He made a significant jump in the ACB league last year, playing 13.3 minutes a night in 32 games after averaging just 7.8 minutes over four games the year before.

Nogueira currently projects pretty much across the board, from the late lottery through the second round. That puts a lot of teams potentially in position to select him on Draft night, and whichever team does has a chance to get an international player with a lot of upside but will need time to get himself polished for the NBA game.

STRENGTHS

When Nogueira’s team gets out and running, he’s a nice asset to have on the floor. Similar to what we saw out of Chris Johnson this year in Minnesota, Bebe runs the floor extremely well and is often able to finish with alley-oops in the fast break. Because of his 7-foot height and his 7-foot-5 wingspan, Nogueira collects blocks at a pretty decent clip (1.1 blocks per game in 13 minutes per night this season), and he also is a solid offensive rebounder. When he’s near the basket on the offensive end, he collects a lot of tip-in baskets.

WEAKNESSES

Nogueira is still in need of gaining strength and thickness before moving to the NBA. He is still developing physically, and he sometimes is not able to hold his ground while defending in the post. While he is a strong offensive rebounder, he sometimes misses out on defensive boards because of his positioning. On the offensive end, he can catch and shoot but he isn’t as polished in the post and can sometimes make ill-timed decisions with the ball. In terms of being NBA ready right now, Nogueira is more of a project than an immediate impact guy in the league.

THEY SAID IT

“You have to go step by step,” Nogueira said. “There might not be a Dwight Howard in the ACB, but the other players were very physical against me. I have other skills that have me allowed to play well in the ACB. I might be not physically ready, but I have other essential skills.” — Center Lucas Nogueira in an interview with HoopsWorld

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

When it comes to size and wingspan, Nogueira has the height and length to someday become a viable shot-blocker in the NBA. He averaged 1.1 blocks per game in 13 minutes a night last year, showcasing a niche for timing to go along with his size. Given his background with pick-and-rolls as well as running the floor, he fits well with the Wolves’ backcourt headlined by Ricky Rubio. Nogueira is a project-type player who will need some time to get physically ready for the NBA while honing his skills.

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Draft Picks

Year
Player
Pos.
School
Rd / Pick
Ht / Wt
Class
2012
Robbie Hummel
F
Purdue
2 / 58
6'8" / 215
Sr
2011
Derrick Williams
F
Arizona
1 / 2
6'8" / 248
So

Donatas Motiejunas
F/C
Italy
1 / 20
7'0" / 222
Int'l
2010
Wesley Johnson
G/F
Syracuse
1 / 4
6'7" / 215
Jr
Luke Babbitt
F
Nevada
1 / 16
6'9" / 225
So
Trevor Booker
F
Clemson
1 / 23
6'8" / 240
Sr
Paulo Prestes
C
Brazil
2 / 45
6'11" / 260
Int'l
Hamady Ndiaye
C
Rutgers
2 / 56
7'0" / 235
Sr
2009
Ricky Rubio
G
Spain
1 / 5
6'4" / 180
Int'l

Jonny Flynn
G
Syracuse
1 / 6
6'0" / 185
So

Ty Lawson
G
North Carolina
1 / 18
5'11" / 195
Jr

Wayne Ellington
G
North Carolina
1 / 28
6'4" / 200
Jr

Nick Calathes
G
Florida
2 / 45
6'6" / 194
So

Henk Norel
F
Netherlands
2 / 47
6'10" / 230
Int'l
2008
OJ Mayo
G
USC
1 / 3
6'4" / 200
Fr
Nikola Pekovic
C
Montenegro
2 / 31
6'11" / 265
Int
Mario Chalmers
G
Kansas
2 / 34
6'1" / 190
Jr
2007
Corey Brewer
F
Florida
1 / 7
6'9" / 185
Jr

Chris Richard
F
Florida
2 / 41
6'9" / 255
Sr
2006
Brandon Roy
G
Washington
1 / 6
6'6" / 215
Sr

Craig Smith
F
Boston College
2 / 36
6'7" / 250
Sr

Bobby Jones
F
Washington
2 / 37
6'7" / 215
Sr

Loukas Mavrokefalidis
F
Greece
2 / 57
6'11" / 260
Int'l
2005
Rashad McCants
G
North Carolina
1 / 14
6'4" / 207
Jr

Bracey Wright
G
Indiana
2 / 47
6'3" / 210
Jr
2004
Blake Stepp
G
Gonzaga
2 / 58
6'4" / 194
Sr
2003
Ndudi Ebi
F
Westbury Christian H.S.
1 / 26
6'9" / 195
HS

Rick Rickert
F
Minnesota
2 / 55
6'11" / 215
So
2002
Marcus Taylor
G
Michigan State
2 / 52
6'3" / 195
So
2001
Loren Woods
C
Arizona
2 / 46
7'1" / 245
Sr
2000
Igor Rakocevic
G
Yugoslavia
2 / 51
6'2" / 184
Int
1999
Wally Szczerbiak
F
Miami (Ohio)
1 / 6
6'7" / 244
Sr

William Avery
G
Duke
1 / 14
6'2" / 180
So

Louis Bullock
G
Michigan
2 / 42
6'2" / 180
Sr
1998
Rasho Nesterovic
C
Slovenia
1 / 17
7'0" / 248
Int

Andrae Patterson
F
Indiana
2 / 46
6'9" / 240
Sr
1997
Paul Grant
C
Wisconsin
1 / 20
7'0" / 245
Sr

Gordon Malone
F
West Virginia
2 / 44
6'11" / 215
Jr
1996
Ray Allen
G
Connecticut
1 / 5
6'5" / 205
Jr
1995
Kevin Garnett
F
Farragut Academy H.S.
1 / 5
6'11" / 220
HS

Mark Davis
F
Texas Tech
2 / 48
6'7" / 210
Sr

Jerome Allen
G
Pennsylvania
2 / 49
6'4" / 184
Sr
1994
Donyell Marshall
F
Connecticut
1 / 4
6'9" / 220
Jr

Howard Eisley
G
Boston College
2 / 30
6'3" / 180
Sr
1993
Isaiah Rider
G
UNLV
1 / 5
6'5" / 215
Sr

Sherron Mills
F
Virginia Commonwealth
2 / 29
6'9"
Sr
1992
Christian Laettner
F
Duke
1 / 3
6'11" / 235
Sr

Marlon Maxey
F
UTEP
2 / 28
6'8" / 250
Sr

Chris Smith
G
Connecticut
2 / 34
6'3" / 191
Sr

Tim Burroughs
F
Jacksonville
2 / 51
6'8"
Sr
1991
Luc Longley
C
New Mexico
1 / 7
7'2" / 265
Sr/Int

Myron Brown
G
Slippery Rock
2 / 34
6'3" / 180
Sr
1990
Felton Spencer
C
Louisville
1 / 6
7'0" / 265
Sr

Gerald Glass
G
Mississippi
1 / 20
6'6" / 221
Sr
1989
Pooh Richardson
G
UCLA
1 / 10
6'1" / 186
Sr

Gary Leonard
C
Missouri
2 / 34
7'1" / 246
Sr

Doug West
G
Villanova
2 / 38
6'6" / 200
Sr

Mock Draft Boards

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